Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) has outlined new ways of continuing its home fire safety and safe and well visits during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
ECFRS visits around 8500 homes a year to fit and check smoke alarms, give fire and home safety advice and give support to the county’s most vulnerable residents.
The Home Safety Team briefly paused visits while they assessed what additional risks the coronavirus posed to colleagues and residents in their homes.
Kieron Moir, Home Safety Operations Manager, said:
“We know that people don’t stop being vulnerable in the midst of a pandemic, and we’re also conscious that with more people spending even more of their time at home, the likelihood of house fires will only increase.
“We’ve made a few changes to the way we work, but want our residents to know that we are still able to visit those who are most at risk of fire and we’ll continue to find alternative ways to give fire safety advice to anyone who needs or wants it.”
For those who are most at risk of fire…
ECFRS still offer a Safe and Well Visit, during which they can fit standard or sensory smoke detectors, and provide their usual fire safety and burglary prevention expertise.
They will still be able to make referrals to other agencies for help and support, and talk about wider health and wellbeing wherever they need to.
The only difference to this service is more talking over the phone, and when team members visit they will be wearing personal protective equipment including masks, aprons and gloves, and will ask the resident to keep their distance while they work.
For those people who are not quite as vulnerable…
ECFRS will offer a personalised conversation with one of their Safe and Well Officers, during which they’ll be able to talk through how to live more safely at home, and ask any questions they need to.
In addition, for those people who are able to fit alarms themselves or have a friend or relative who can help them, they’ll deliver smoke alarms to doorsteps, as well as including any advice or literature that might be useful.
When the situation in the UK improves, these people will be able to contact ECFRS and book a full Safe and Well Visit.
ECFRS Home Safety bookings and advice line still open as usual
If you have any questions about fire safety, need to refer someone for a Safe and Well Visit, tell ECFRS that someone is at risk of fire, or just need some advice and guidance, please call the ECFRS Home Safety Team.
The line is open Monday to Friday, between 9.30am and 4.30pm (or leave a message out of hours) or you can email.
To contact ECFRS for advice, to book a visit or a telephone call…
Phone: 0300 303 0088 (9.30am – 4.30pm, or leave a message out of hours)
Online form: essex-fire.gov.uk/book
Home safety videos: ECFRS YouTube channel